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Wayword, Inc. (A Way with Words)


San Diego, CA

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Wayword, Inc. (A Way with Words)

Physical Address:
San Diego, CA 92163 
Web URL:
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Legitimacy Information

  • This organization is registered with the IRS.
  • This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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The San Diego Foundation

Basic Organization Information

Wayword, Inc. (A Way with Words)

Physical Address:
San Diego, CA 92163 
Web URL:
NTEE Category:
A Arts, Culture, and Humanities 
A30 Media, Communications Organizations 
B Educational Institutions 
B99 Education N.E.C. 
A Arts, Culture, and Humanities 
A34 Radio 
Ruling Year:

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Mission Statement

A Way with Words, which receives no funding from NPR or KPBS, is more than a public radio program about language. It is about history, culture, and family, explored through the lens of language. Founded and nurtured here in San Diego, the show is now broadcast to listeners in 24 states, plus Mexico and Canada, reaching an estimated quarter-milion listeners a week. The nonprofit is supported by, and partners with, individuals and organizations who believe in lifelong learning and better human understanding. Through its educational mission, Wayword Inc., which independently produces and distributes the show, is changing the way America talks and thinks about language.


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Leadership Statement:

We serve listeners in all parts of the world. Some are seeking to understand their own linguistic heritage. Others are eager to connect with others who share their curiosity about and love of language. Still others wish to polish their skills as speakers of English as a second language. We hear from more than 1,000 of them a month. Here's a sampling: I discovered your show about a year ago and listen to it every chance I get. I am 74, a retired imaging research technician, poet, and self taught artist. I am also a moderate to severe stutterer. Because of my speech impediment, I value the written word beyond measure. Without the opportunity writing gives me to express myself clearly and fluently, life would be less tolerable then it is.   I so appreciate your show, find solace, encouragement and joy in learning about language and the journey it takes us through time and place. -- Indianapolis, Indiana   Your show is fun, informative, educational, etc. But what tops all these is how much you enjoy this subject. Your love and passion for the subject comes out during the program. It is almost infectious!! I used to have my children listen to this as another example of being passionate about something and enjoying doing that. You are a big example and role model in that. -- Chennai, India

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

Officers information is not available for this organization.

Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

Highest Paid Employee data is not available for this organization.

Program: "A Way with Words" public radio show

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served:
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Program Description:

A Way with Words is a popular, independently produced public-radio program about language--word origins, regional dialects, slang, linguistic diversity, grammar, and writing well. Wayword Inc. makes "A Way with Words" available to public radio stations nationwide and online by podcast.

Program Long-Term Success:

Long-term success for this program mirrors the overall goal of Wayword to encourage informed public conversation about language, and promote lifelong learning by researching, writing, producing, editing, and distributing a high-quality radio program about words and how we use them.

Program Short-Term Success:

*Expanding the show's audience via radio, podcast, web, and other platforms.   * Developing additional educational materials for distribution online and via schools.   * Partnering with other educational nonprofits.

Program Success Monitored by:

In terms of numbers, we measure success by the number of cities and towns where the show is currently broadcast (more than 70) and podcast downloads (more than 3.7 million since November 2007).   Anecdotally, we can report that more than 1,000 listeners a month contact the show. They tune in to understand their own linguistic heritage, to connect with other lifelong learners, to polish their ESL skills, and be entertained while expanding their capacity to educate themselves.   In addition to a devoted following in San Diego, the show has listeners worldwide. From an English teacher in Poland: I can't express how happy I am to find your podcasts on the Internet. I have downloaded and listened to 10 and I love them. I am also going to tell my advanced students about your website and podcasts, so very soon there may be more of us.    From Ivory Coast: Thank you very much for your radio broadcast. As a non native speaker I mean to be able to understand the way American people speak.

Program Success Examples:

Emails like this one from an Oklahoma listener tell us we're doing something right:  I wanted to share the inspiration you brought into my life. A few weeks ago, you nonchalantly used the phrase "linguistic heirloom." I really fell in love with the idea that language is passed from generation to generation, and that linguistic heirlooms are in some ways gifts or treasures to be carried on, taken care of, and even intentionally shared.   I sent off an email to my 77-year-old grandma, asking her to write down any words or turns of phrase that she used to hear from her parents or relatives growing urelationships, and the things that we all share in common.

Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

Our accomplishments for 2011:   * Produced and distributed 28 hour-long episodes of “A Way with Words,” reaching an estimated quarter-million listeners by broadcast and thousands more online via podcast.    *Expanded our national broadcast reach to 24 states, expanded our social media reach by 50% with more than 21,000 followers via Facebook, Twitter, and our weekly email newsletter.   *Created Android, iPhone, and Blackberry apps for smartphones.   * Held two successful online fundraising drives, one of them in conjunction with the San Diego Foundation's giveBIG program.   * Laid the groundwork for total website redesign, including vastly expanded audio, and the addition of a dictionary of slang and jargon with 17,000+ citations.   *Continued outreach into the local San Diego community through partnerships with other non-profits, such as the San Diego Literacy Foundation and WordsAlive!   * Enlisted and trained a volunteer to help publicize program to more public radio stations.    Our goals for 2012:   *Produce and distribute 30 new episodes of “A Way with Words.”   *Expand the show's distribution via radio, podcast, smartphone, tablet, and other platforms.   * Develop financial support to become self-sustaining in accordance with our strategic plan.   *Continue outreach into the local San Diego community through partnerships with other non-profits.   * Expand our board with two new members.   * Form an in-house speakers' bureau to accomodate the rapidly expanding number of requests for public appearances.    * Move to a customer-relation management system for better tracking of our fundraising and outreach efforts.     * Implement the redesign and expansion of website (waywordradio.org) to include a larger, more active discussion forum, and make the site an online destination and resource for language enthusiasts, students, ESL learners, and teachers.

Organization Data Available

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